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Wild Bunch kicks off the official competition season @ Betty Spears Relays

November 5, 2012

The Wild Bunch gathered listening to Kim Bierwert’s End of Meet Speech January 2012

The Wild Bunch entered Wellesley’s pool, looking sharp wearing their uniforms along with their secret psych up gifts such as banana hats, monkey hats, cheering signs, and other wild bunch paraphernalia.  The team set the tone for the meet: (energy) through a recurring partner dance as a part of a semi-regular warm-up.  The team definitely has fun in and out of the pool.  In the stands, we saw Hayley Bezubka’s parents, alumna Becca Chazin ’12 (who baked everyone cupcakes!), Asst. coach Amanda’s parents, and other friends of the wild bunch.  Thank you all for coming to cheer on the team!

Many of the swimmers and divers had a very strong, solid meet.  Cecelia Arrison and Garbo Garbocauskas competed in their first full round of dives off the 1M and 3M, excelling in some dives and learning how to overcome nerves in others.  They placed fourth and seventh in the 1M and fifth and seventh in the 3m.  Jenika Parson, senior and co-captain exhibited great leadership throughout the meet.  She dove with overall control and grace and earned first in both the 1M and 3M!

As for the swimmers, there were many season best times as well as times inching closer to personal bests this early in the season.  Laura Nunnelly shaved time off her 50 backstroke split in the opening relay, 32.38, and then took three seconds off her 100 backstroke time, earning a 1:10.74.  Christina Goethel dropped a second off her 50 backstroke by increasing her tempo and intensity throughout her lane swimming.  Christine Hart continues to display her ferocious racing in her 50 and 100 breaststroke events; she drove her way to a 1:16.08 in her 100.  Steff “the terminator” Cervantes was energized and excited during her 50 fly leg of the Medley relay, dropping a second off her time, 37.81.  Emma Reim anchored her relay, charging in and out of her walls, debuting her 50 free at a 28.90.

Hayley Bezubka also had a fantastic meet.  She demonstrated an acquisition of power and speed going within .72 of her fastest 50 free, 27.99 as well as in her 100 free, 1:01.82.  Claire Dudek swam within three seconds of her best 200 freestyle, 2:16.23, and swam within six seconds of her best 500 freestyle time.  She turned on the jets in the final 100; we are excited that there is more in her tank to burn in the beginning of the race.  Emily Lane dropped almost five seconds in her 200 freestyle, 2:13 in the 4×200 freestyle relay.  She is really beginning to hold the water well in her free.  Ayla Staelin-Lefsky swam within two seconds of her NEWMAC best time, 2:28.22 in the 200 and repeated it again in a later event.  She also swam her fastest 100 freestyle in the relay; we are excited to have her swim it again so she can break the 1:10 mark!! Jill Anderson also swam within one second of her fastest 200 freestyle.  Rachel Dean continued to knock off seconds here and there in her 200 free.

Ariel Orr displayed excellent hold on the water and core engagement in her 50 and 100 breaststroke, 33.43 and 1:14.07 in the relays.  Another speedy breaststroker, Olivia Bannon swam well in her 50 and 100 breaststroke, 33.57 and 1:14.72.  Hannah Francis debuted her 100 breaststroke swimming a solid 1:16.99.  All the breaststrokers do a wonderful job pushing one another during practice.

Meri Millman continues to shed time in her 50 freestyle, 27.25.  She tried out a 50 backstroke sprint as well, 33.25.  Mackenzie Bradley and Kelsey Swensen both anchored their crescendo relays well, dropping seven seconds in their 500 freestyles.  Kelsey is less than three seconds away from her tapered time from Fall 2011 before she went abroad to Scotland.  Helen Zhang confidently anchored the last 400 free relay and cut three seconds, 1:07.39.  Greta Stacy, a rower and now a swimmer, had a wonderful first meet as a member of the Wild Bunch.  This meet was day five of her swimming season.  She anchored her 200 yard fly/free relay with a 28.9 in her free and she led off the 400 free relay with a 1:05.03.  We are thrilled to have her on the team!

Other highlights of the meet were Alyssa Pascuzzo (fly), Hayley Bezubka (free), Robin Currens (back) and Olivia Bannon (breast) swimming in the 25 yard eliminators.  They had the opportunity to compete head to head as well as get some extra practice swimming with a super strong tempo.  You can find the videos on the team’s Facebook page as well.

While we still have a ways to go in terms of developing power and speed, we are encouraged by the spirit and potential of this group of athletes. Tomorrow the Wild Bunch takes on Springfield College @ Smith College.  We look forward to seeing more fast, gutsy swims! Hope to see you there!

For complete results, click on the Smith Pioneers site link below:


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